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Vatican Raises Flag at UN for Pope's Visit


Vatican Flag Raised at UN
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WATCH: Vatican flag raising video shot by VOA's U.N. Correspondent Margaret Besheer

The Vatican flag was raised for the first time at the United Nations on Friday, shortly after 6:00 am, ahead of Pope Francis' visit to the world body.

Pope Francis is due to address the United Nations in New York on Friday during his first visit to the United States.

The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a Palestinian resolution earlier this month which says the flags of non-member states "shall be raised at (U.N.) Headquarters (in New York) and United Nations Offices following the flags of the member states."

The Vatican and Palestine are the only non-member observer states at the United Nations.

Palestinian diplomats will raise their flag during a special ceremony on Sept. 30, the day Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses world leaders at the annual gathering of the U.N. General Assembly.

FILE - The United Nations headquarters building in Vienna.
FILE - The United Nations headquarters building in Vienna.

No ceremony planned

Unlike the Palestinians, the Holy See mission to the United Nations said its flag would be raised with no ceremony at the same time all other member states flags are raised on Friday.

The Vatican reacted coolly when the Palestinians first circulated their draft resolution last month.

The Palestinians initially presented their initiative as a joint effort with the Holy See, but the Vatican said it would not co-sponsor the resolution and requested that its name be removed from the text.

The United States and Israel were among eight countries that voted against the Palestinian-drafted resolution. There were 119 votes in favor out of 193 U.N. members.

VOA's Margaret Besheer contributed to this report from the United Nations

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